Germany’s interior minister has unveiled proposals to boost security after recent attacks, including making it easier to deport foreigners deemed dangerous and stripping dual nationals who fight for extremist groups of their German citizenship.
Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere’s plans also include creating several thousand jobs at federal security services over the coming years and making “promoting terrorism” a criminal offense.
Four attacks last month included two carried out by asylum-seekers and claimed by the Islamic State group. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will not be deflected from giving shelter to people who deserve asylum, but she also pledged to do “everything humanly possible” to keep the country safe.
“A lot of people ... are worried about further attacks. That is understandable,” Mr de Maiziere told reporters. “No one can guarantee absolute security, but we must do what is possible.”
He said Germany will consider joining other countries in screening the social media profiles of people being admitted to the country under formal resettlement programmes and would start a pilot project to judge its effectiveness.
Mr de Maiziere also wants to strengthen German authorities’ ability to probe the darknet, an area of cyberspace invisible on the open internet.
He proposed making it easier to take foreigners who have committed crimes or otherwise are deemed to be dangerous into pre-deportation custody, making “endangering public security” a ground for jailing them. That’s meant to make it easier to ensure people who are obliged to leave the country actually do so.
Mr de Maiziere said it is already possible to strip German citizenship from dual nationals who fight for foreign armies, so it is reasonable to apply the same rule to those who fight for a “terror militia” abroad.
He also pointed to ongoing efforts to toughen German and particularly European Union weapons laws.
Mr de Maiziere said he that was limiting himself to proposals that could be implemented quickly, and said he considered them “politically reasonable” for the centre-left junior party in the conservative Merkel’s governing coalition. De Maiziere is a member of Ms Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats.
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